Kidnapping allegations can result in federal criminal charges
Kidnapping can involve the concealment, abduction, or confinement of another individual. In Louisiana, a person can face state charges based on their alleged kidnapping of another individual; however, the presence of certain facts and conditions can remove what may have otherwise been a state kidnapping case to the federal criminal court system.
Pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code, a person may face federal criminal charges for kidnapping if they move the alleged victim across state lines. They may also face federal kidnapping charges if they use the United States mail system in the commission of the kidnapping, for example, to allegedly demand ransom for the return of the purported victim.
The commission of an alleged kidnapping while in American airspace or while on vessels in certain territorial waters can also subject individuals to federal charges. Federal kidnapping charges can be seriously penalized, with some convicted individuals facing sentences of twenty years to life in prison.
Due to the unique nature of every kidnapping charge, individuals are encouraged to consult with their criminal defense attorneys to devise defense strategies that accommodate the facts and circumstances of their cases. However, some general defenses do exist to combat difficult kidnapping charges.
A defendant in a kidnapping case may show that their alleged victim willingly joined the defendant during the period on which the kidnapping charges were based; in many cases, a kidnapping victim must not consent to the actions on which the kidnapping claims arose.
Kidnapping claims often come up in the context of child custody battles when one parent takes or retains a child past when their time with the youth should end. Different jurisdictions observe different rules with regard to parental kidnapping and readers should speak with their own attorneys about the laws present in their criminal courts.